At the meeting of European Parliament's REGI Committee that took place on 25 January 2018, Pavel Branda, the CoR Rapporteur on the opinion "People-to-people projects and small scale projects in cross-border cooperation programmes" and Deputy Mayor of Rádlo municipality presented his work on the opinion and the recommendations of the CoR for more efficient cross-border cooperation.
"People-to-people projects and small scale projects play an essential role in cross-border cooperation programmes and have contributed greatly to their success. They form a basis upon which further cross-border cooperation in different areas can be developed as they contribute to making contacts across border, normalise relationships between neighbouring regions, building trust among partners and overcoming prejudices. Nevertheless they are being questioned as they are not anchored in the Cohesion Policy regulations," explained Pavel Branda.
He further underlined that "These projects deal with topics of everyday relevance, helping to develop larger projects. They contribute to building of partnerships and mobilize the wider civil society. Such projects are addressing real local problems and finding effective local solutions."
When it comes to the future of the cross-border programmes post 2020, the opinion underlines a need to have these types of projects anchored in the regulation. Having decentralized management with flexibility to use the existing instruments and procedures, along with simplified costs is key to the success of such projects. When implementing small scale and people-to-people projects, local and regional authorities should make the most use of Euroregions and EGTCs as the most efficient tools in cross-border cooperation.